Preparations are in full swing as Ghana gears up to host the 13th African Games, scheduled in the capital city of Accra from 8th to 24th March 2024. The event will draw thousands of athletes, officials, and spectators from across the continent, and Ghana is working hard to ensure its success. Over 50 AU Member States have already confirmed their participation.
Hon. Mustapha Ussif, Minister of Youth & Sports, emphasized this commitment during the opening session of the 4th Technical Committee for the African Games meeting. He sincerely appreciated the “invaluable guidance and support” received from the African Union (AU), led by Commissioner Minata Samate Cessouma. He specifically commended the Commissioner’s dedication to fostering continental unity and recognizing the transformative power of sports. He went on to highlight the technical support provided by the AU Sports Council (AUSC), the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of Africa Sports Confederations (AASC), which has been instrumental in driving the Games’ preparation towards an impactful and successful event.
“Ghana has invested significantly in state-of-the-art sporting facilities across twenty-three (23) disciplines. From the newly constructed Olympic Stadium to the refurbished aquatic centre, these venues testify to our commitment to the fruition of a world-class competition,” stated Hon. Mustapha Ussif. “But our preparations extend beyond the arenas. We’ve also invested in a robust infrastructure network to ensure seamless transportation, diverse accommodation options, and advanced communication technologies. We are confident that these Games will be a resounding success, showcasing the best of Ghana and the power of sport to unite Africa.”
Over 4,000 athletes are expected to participate in the games. They will compete in 23 sports codes, namely Arm-Wrestling, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball (3×3), Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Chess, Cricket, Cycling, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo,
Rugby, Aquatics, Table Tennis, Karate-Do Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling.
Seven (7) out of the twenty-three (23) sports codes – Badminton, Cycling, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, and Wrestling – will double as qualifiers for the Paris Olympics 2024, raising the stakes even higher. Beyond the official competition, the Games will also feature a variety of demonstration sports that showcase emerging trends and disciplines. These include E-sports, Mixed Martial Arts, Speedball, Sambo, and Teqball, promising a glimpse into the future of sports entertainment.
“Ensuring a level playing field and protecting the integrity of competition remain paramount. Ghana is taking a proactive approach to anti-doping, implementing robust measures and diligently working towards ultramodern facilities to deter and detect potential violations,” said Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, the Executive Chairman of the Local Organising Committee.
“While some facilities are still under construction, their completion is rapidly progressing and adheres to the highest international standards. This proactive approach ensures that upon their completion, these facilities will be fully operational and equipped with the latest technology, ready to analyze samples and conduct testing according to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations”, Dr Kwaku added.
Following a tour of critical sporting venues like the Borteyman Sports Complex, the University of Ghana facilities, and Bukom’s Hockey and Cricket Fields, H.E. Minata Samate Cessouma, the African Union’s Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, praised the local organizing committee’s impressive work. She noted the excellent quality of the facilities, highlighting their readiness and adherence to standards.
On behalf of the AUC Chairperson, Moussa Faki, Commissioner Cessouma further extended her appreciation to President Nana Akuffo Addo and Minister of Youth & Sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif, for their “tireless efforts” in driving the Games’ success. She emphasized the crucial need for continued collaboration, urging all stakeholders to join forces and accelerate final preparations.
“The time for action is now!” she asserted, underscoring the urgency as the Games draw closer.
Looking ahead, Commissioner Cessouma expressed her confidence that Ghana, as the host nation, is poised to set a new standard for the African Games. She envisioned the event not only showcasing sporting excellence but also serving as a powerful catalyst for unity and collaboration across the entire African continent.
Note to Editor
The African Games, owned and organized by the African Union on behalf of its member states, bring together athletes from across the continent every four years, one year before the Olympics. This prestigious event showcases athletic talent, celebrates African cultural values and heritage, and promotes solidarity and integration. Additionally, the Games play a crucial role in fostering social cohesion and a culture of peace within Africa.
The Games will be organized in collaboration with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the Association of Africa Sports Confederations (AASC) following a Negotiated Agreement signed in February 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the Management and Organization of the 13th Edition of the African Games.